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Singapore Property News

RB Capital appoints InterContinental for its revamped hotel

RB Capital appoints InterContinental for its revamped hotel

Posted on 30-Sep-2014
By: KALPANA RASHIWALA

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RB Capital appoints InterContinental for its revamped hotel

[SINGAPORE] The Gallery Hotel in Robertson Quay will make way for a luxury property under the InterContinental brand. RB Capital, which owns the Gallery Hotel, has appointed InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) to manage the property under the chain's top-tier brand after it undergoes a major refurbishment and re-opens in 2016.

InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay will have 225 rooms, starting at 300 square feet each; about 10 per cent of the rooms will be suites above 500 sq ft. This will be IHG's second InterContinental hotel in Singapore after the one in Bugis Junction. The existing Gallery Hotel, which RB Capital bought in late-2013 for S$232.5 million, will close its doors in November for the renovations, expected to cost around S$70 milion.

More than half the building's structure will be brought down, and the rest stripped to floor slab and pillar for the conversion of the property into a luxury hotel. The first three levels of this 10-storey property will be converted to 63,000 sq ft in lettable area for retail space, primarily driven by F&B outlets and food-related retail. The first level will also house the hotel's arrival lobby, concierge services and the hotel's flagship restaurant.

The hotel reception/check-in will be on Level 4, which will also have meeting rooms and function space, the club lounge, a swimming pool, and bar and dining facilities. Rooms will be located from Level 5.

Jan Smits, chief executive of Asia, the Middle East and Africa for IHG, said: "Singapore is one of a select number of cities around the world that will be home to more than one InterContinental hotel."

Other such cities include London, Shanghai and Tokyo.

"With the signing of our second InterContinental hotel in Singapore, we will be showcasing the very best of the city. InterContinental Singapore (in Bugis Junction) pays homage to the local heritage, while InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay will represent the contemporary spirit of this vibrant city," he added.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, IHG's luxury brand, now has 180 hotels in more than 65 markets. Other names within IHG's portfolio of nine hotel brands include Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn Express.

IHG now manages six hotels here, including another RB Capital-owned property - the 442-room Holiday Inn Express Singapore Clarke Quay along Magazine Road. This hotel is going to be a short distance from Intercontinental Singapore Robertson Quay, just across Alkaff Bridge. Holiday Inn Express Clarke Quay, which opened its doors in March this year, is achieving occupancies in the high 80s to low 90s. The average room rate is now just under S$200 a night.

A total room count of 667 between the Holiday Inn Express Clarke Quay and InterContinental Robertson Quay will create opportunities for owner RB Capital. Its CEO, Kishin RK, said: "For instance, the two hotels could provide accommodation when organisations send big delegations to Singapore for events and would like to house all their staff in the same area, but at different price-points. This will allow us to tap the influx of MICE (meetings, incentives, conference and exhibition) tourism to Singapore."

There would also be potential for clustering some administrative functions between the two properties. On the selection of IHG to operate the Robertson Quay hotel under the InterContinental brand, he said: "The InterContinental brand resonates well with the luxury positioning of the property post-refurbishment. We picked IHG as they have one of the strongest global distribution systems due to their size."

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns more than 4,700 hotels, totalling 693,000 rooms in almost 100 countries.

RB Capital is also developing the upscale Park Hotel Farrer Park, also slated to open in 2016. "From a diversification viewpoint, this completes our product positioning in the Singapore hotel market, with the mid-tier Holiday Inn Express, upscale Park Hotel and luxury InterContinental," said Mr Kishin.

RB Capital selected InterContinental following a request for proposal (RFP) exercise from hotel management companies, handled by JLL's Hotel & Hospitality Group. Its CEO of Asia, Scott Hetherington said: "More than 20 regional and international operators bid for this exceptional opportunity, underlying the scarcity of freehold luxury hotels in Singapore, one of the key gateway markets to Asia."

RB Capital also owns the retail podium of The Quayside next door, where refurbishment works have started. This will reopen at the same time as InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay. SCDA is handling the masterplan, the architecture, landscape and interior design of the two assets.

 

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